Charles Perez, the gay news anchor at WPLG in Miami who was fired last week after filing a sexual orientation discrimination claim against the station, has written an editorial for The Daily Beast, a news and opinion website, explaining his decision.
Perez was called in for two performance reviews in March of this year with the station’s News Director Bill Pohovey. At the first, Perez claims Pohovey told him he was “too anchor-like and too ‘Brian Williams”’ at the second, that he came across “too soft,” didn’t sound “main anchor-like” and smiled “like girlfriends” at co-anchor Laurie Jennings.
After Perez lost his weeknight anchor seat on July 22nd, he filed a discrimination complaint with Miami-Dade’s Equal Opportunity Board. Pohovey denied Perez’s claims, and said in a statement to The Miami Herald on Aug. 3rd, “As a gay man myself, I can safely say the Station does not discriminate against gay people. Charles’ claim that the Station discriminates against gay people is untrue and offensive.” Three days later, Perez was fired from the station.
Perez, 46, posted a column titled “Why I Committed Career Suicide” in The Daily Beast on Sunday.
“Bottom line, I believe they sold me out as soon as my being gay became too widely known.” Perez writes in the editorial. “It made them uncomfortable and made me, in their eyes, less advertiser-friendly. They’d demoted me two weeks earlier from main weekday anchor to weekend anchor. It was a move I quickly recognized was leading to the door, and I wasn’t prepared to watch my career circle down the drain.” More…